I am Confined to a Box as a Comedian ~ K Prakash

He kicked off in the entertainment industry as a comedian but he finds it unfair. He feels it is not right to stereotype, label and to seal him in the box as a comedian
. To also get people's comment that he can only be featured as a comedian due to his face feature broke him into pieces. This is K Prakash's journey on how he is trying to smash the comedian box that people have to build around him and venture into character roles.

I am a proud Sentulian as in I am from Sentul. I am the eldest in the family along with two younger brothers. I have got no movie industry background nor did my parents supported it.

I was doing my account course and I searched for an opportunity in the industry. Though I understand that not everybody belongs in the entertainment industry but I tried giving it a shot.

I got involved in stage drama where I thought they selected me to be part of them by looking at my talent. I was wrong. I was used as a helper boy instead.

I carried stuff. I became a hanger for them. I bought food for them. I did almost everything except to act on the stage which I initially thought I will be doing.

Finally, I did a stage show. Finally. A senior artist named Selvaratnam acknowledge my talent and he taught me on how to be a comedian on stage.

From there I switch my path to be a young comedian. While there were lots of well-known comedians like Rama brother, Gana, Achapan sir and much more but they are all 30 plus.

 There was a lack of young comedian in the scene. I acknowledged the lackingness and we began 3 Murthi (The young Comedians) along with Faisal and Balan.

We started our own stage show in 1996. Our first payment was RM50.00. It is indeed an unforgettable moment. 

Then, I started getting more stage drama opportunities. I started holding vital characters in the play and it enhanced my experience. That opportunity was given by director Emmanuel.

In 2001 I was more recognised as Malaysian Chandra Prabhu. Yet, I felt it was not enough as I couldn't contribute much as an actor.

I started doing my research and I started studying the prospect for a young comedian like me out there in the entertainment industry.

In 2004 a huge turning point happened to me. I was the host for Ithu Ungal Neram on Astro.

To be someone who can't read Tamil and also be someone who is considered as not that appealing I had very low confidence that I can even get the job.

Somehow, I was the host for 1 year. I made it happen. 

People started to recognise me. I built myself a platform as a humorous host. It reminded me of the time when I told people my dream that I wanted to be on screen.

Instead of encouraging me, they chose to laugh and mock me down. I was mocked for my big eyes. I was mocked for my skin colour. I was said that I have a face where it doesn't deserve to be put on screen.

Somehow, the dream of seeing myself on screen came true when I was 29 but it didn't last long. After a year, the contract with ASTRO ended and I was fading away from people's memory.

Though I was established as a comedy actor I wasn't satisfied with it. I ventured into commercial line.
That's when I learned how important casting is to an actor.

In 2009, a commercial titled Malaysian Idol ("Roti Man vs Susu Man") went viral and it gave me a strong platform on the commercial line.

I find not many Indians actually ventured the commercial line like how I did. They think that they can only outshine by being an actor in telemovies, dramas and movies.

K Prakash became a brand.

I got involved in few more ads like Kabali ad ( Astro OD Connection) and Tune Talk ads. Also, I acted in a few local Tamil movies like Vere Vazhi Ille, Undercover Rascal and Uyir though not much.

The biggest breakthrough in the commercial line will be Subway Chicken Tandoori commercial. The next achievement is definitely me featured on a billboard for Uber ad nationwide.

It made people from the entertainment industry to look high upon me. Very recently, I did a Deepavali ad ( Appavi ) by HIT TV which got almost 2 million views.

It brought me to a different level and it made me known as a Commercial King.

Personally, I know that I have lot more to venture and learn in the commercial line. We Indians are seeing the commercial line as a small market but for other races, it is actually a huge market for them.

Personally, when it comes to Malaysian entertainment movie I find that a lot of movies are being made but they are not releasing it.

Also, I find some of the seniors failed to build a connection with the youngsters. In 5 years time, everything is going to change. It is the youngsters now who are going to be the director, actor and all in the future. 

A lot of well-known comedians are no longer being involved in the upcoming movies. Comedy is an art and not everybody can pull it off. It is not easy to make people laugh without trying hard.

Senior comedians are dying slowly.

Personally, for me, the biggest challenge is to break the stereotype that I am a comedian. Even when I hold a serious role and cry in a movie scene people will laugh. Why? Because I am a comedian.

Then I slowly realised that I was confined to a box. A comedian. When you are confined to a box by the public then you are forever trapped in that particular box.

I was known as a comedian and the public forever wanted to see me as a comedian. I wished to do villain role but I was requested to not to hold such character in movies because I am a comedian.

I was implicitly got restricted to a certain stage. I couldn't break the barrier that I can do serious character roles though I am a comedian.

Finally, Prem Nath gave me a serious character role in Guns & Roses and War & Roses, a short film. Then I got a chance to be part of the opening scene in Uyir the movie. I was able to hold another serious role.

I was then confident enough that I can pull off serious roles as much as I pull off as a comedian. Yet, I was more established as a comedian as that box is what people liked seeing me being in.

It is tough to erase that idea "K Prakash a comedian" that people have stamped on my face. Yes, I am a comedian but I want to break that barrier. I don't want to limit myself. I searched for a serious role for myself.

It's time to move on from a comedian and to venture a new character role which will outcast my talent. Hoping to prove that I am not only a great comedian but also a great actor who can hold a serious role well.

I don't believe that only by acting in 10 movies and more it will make you famous. 1 good movie is enough to create a name for you.

My current focus is to bring me out of the comedian box that the public has put me into and to prove to others that I can hold serious roles.

For example, Santhanam is now a hero from a comedian with his effort. I don't want to be a hero. I just want to change people's perception that I can only be a comedian.

In an Astro telemovie titled Valari directed by Senthil Kumaran Muniandy, I did a psychopath role. For Kaaval RTM drama directed by Naga sir, I did a transgender role.

I did manage to get a lead role in a movie named Identity directed by Thila Arumugam where I acted as a refugee. Hoping it to be released soon. Hopefully, that will be the biggest breakthrough in my attempt.

I have to thank Selvaraja for bringing me to the next level in the commercial line. Emmanuel for enhancing my skills by guiding me on how to act. Selvaratnam (SPM comedy group) for making me a stage comedian.

My main support is my wife Kamala Devi Krishnan. Nothing we can do without our life partner's support. She was the biggest backbone in my life and I became established because of her constant support and critics.

I am also very thankful because I am surrounded by good people. Thanks to my competitors and to those who bad mouthed me for making me to be stronger and to move forward faster.

Let Your Work Talk ~ K Prakash 

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